Maximize Your Workout with the Best Treadmill

Maximize Your Workout with the Best Treadmill

After testing 29 best treadmills for home workouts, we confidently recommend the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 as the top choice. Its smooth ride and sturdy build offer easy navigation and a spacious color touchscreen. Additionally, it provides an optional subscription for onboard workout content for those seeking extra motivation.

Who Should Consider the Best Treadmills for Home Workouts?

Best Treadmills for Home Workouts: Close-up of the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 treadmill console

In 2021, 165 million people engaged in walking or jogging, with 43 million opting for home treadmill workouts, emphasizing their convenience and efficiency.

Before making a treadmill investment, carefully consider the decision. Best treadmills for home workouts can become expensive dust collectors if not used regularly. Research indicates that 40% of home gym equipment doesn’t receive expected use levels. Running coach and exercise scientist Nicole Hagobian of California Polytechnic State University emphasizes understanding your habits. University of Montana associate professor Rich Willy advises regularly adjusting speed and incline for improved home treadmill workouts.

Numerous treadmills provide subscription-based services that grant access to trainer-led classes or virtual workouts set in scenic locations worldwide. However, it’s crucial to assess your workout preferences before committing to a subscription. This review focuses on running and walking treadmills, excluding under-desk models, tread desks, or walking pads.

Selecting and Evaluating the Best Treadmills for Home Workouts

We compared home and gym treadmills; the latter, sturdier and pricier, is built for frequent use. Harry Pino, from Princeton Longevity Center, notes that home treadmills often have softer frames and more plastic parts.

Below are the key features we prioritized when selecting models for evaluation.

  • Belt Length: Nearly all the best treadmills for home workouts we evaluated boasted a generous belt length of 60 inches.
  • Speed: Our tests covered treadmills up to 12 mph, ideal for serious runners but not crucial for most users.
  • Incline: A good treadmill provides various incline options, simulating diverse terrains for effective interval training.
  • Decline: Some treadmills offer a decline feature, providing an additional dimension to your workouts by simulating downhill terrain. One tester likened this feature to the sensation of running across bridges.
  • Horsepower: Treadmill motors are typically rated in continuous horsepower, indicating their sustained power output. While higher horsepower may allow for quicker speed and incline adjustments, it doesn’t always guarantee a smoother run. Most joggers benefit from treadmills with at least 3 horsepower motors, a standard met by all tested models.
  • Deck: The springiness of treadmill decks varies, with terms like “flex” or “cushioning” indicating a bouncier surface. Dr. Adam Tenforde advises treadmills should provide cushioning for orthopedic health, not be overly rigid.
  • Weight Capacity: Home workout treadmills usually hold 300-325 pounds, with all tested models supporting this weight.
  • Accessories: We looked for treadmills equipped with spacious and secure water bottle holders, small storage bins, and convenient tablet holders.
  • Folding Mechanism: Our focus was on treadmills featuring foldable designs that can be stored vertically when not in use. However, it’s important to note that even when folded, best treadmills for home workouts still require significant space. If lifting heavy objects poses a challenge, maneuvering a folded treadmill may also be difficult.

Selecting and Evaluating the Best Treadmills for Home Workouts

Since 2017, we’ve gathered feedback from 41 testers, including athletes and walkers, who evaluated 29 best treadmills for home workouts. In our latest testing phase in early 2023, 26 testers rigorously walked and ran on 5 treadmills. Our writer, Seth Berkman, tested each treadmill for four weeks, covering at least 12 miles, and analyzed speed and incline.

Our testers provided detailed feedback on how they experienced the treadmills during use, noting factors like firmness, bounce, and belt traction. They identified problems such as slippery belts and uncomfortable front plates, which led to the removal of one treadmill.

Testers also considered stability, assessing how well the treadmills performed at various speeds and inclines. They noted no noticeable shaking or instability. Additionally, we evaluated the smoothness and quietness of each treadmill’s transition between different incline levels.

We carefully observed noise levels, as some treadmills generated louder footfall sounds than others. Additionally, we evaluated console and screen quality, considering glare, usability, and font size, as assessed by testers.

We assessed built-in fans for noise and airflow, recommending portable options like the Vornado 630 for additional cooling.

Our Choice: NordicTrack Commercial 1750

The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 treadmill boasts a sleek design and a powerful motor capable of swift adjustments. Even after months of rigorous testing, our unit displayed minimal signs of wear and tear. Whether for a solo run or iFit workouts ($39/month), this treadmill ensures comfort and enjoyment. The iFit guided runs are showcased on a vibrant 14-inch touchscreen, featuring an impressive user interface with no visible pixels. Compact design, and robust warranty make Commercial 1750 space-efficient and reassuring.

We previously endorsed an earlier version of the Commercial 1750, but NordicTrack began phasing out that model in 2022. Our current top pick, the updated version, boasts a redesigned frame, larger screen, upgraded speakers, and smaller motor. However, during our testing, we didn’t observe any noticeable impact on performance due to this change. Some testers prefer older model’s features despite new updates being appreciated.

The most notable variances between the old and new Commercial 1750 models are largely aesthetic. The bigger screen enhances visuals, but some testers had mixed feelings about the new Z-shaped side rails. Control buttons are placed on a panel blocked by a front bar, making access challenging. Some testers found this arrangement cumbersome, particularly while running. Amby Burfoot, a renowned runner, and author highlighted the importance of intuitive control placement to prevent balance loss. Our tests found that the fixed fan angle caused discomfort for shorter runners by blowing air into their mouths.

We got reports of console issues, and NordicTrack’s response hinted at buying a pricey new one. Despite our inquiries, NordicTrack did not address this issue.

Second Choice: Bowflex Treadmill 10

Best Treadmills for Home Workouts: NordicTrack EXP 7i treadmill folded for storage

Despite its Darth Vader-like appearance, the Bowflex Treadmill 10 delivers an impressive workout experience.

Bowflex doesn’t reveal motor horsepower, but our tests prove its speed and incline match top picks. With two handles at the front and switches on the side rails, it offers versatile options for adjusting settings.

Testers appreciated the spacious storage slots, cushioned deck, and quiet operation. The fan placement was well-received, targeting the neck/chest area, and taller users found the rails accommodating.

Like our top pick, the NordicTrack, the Bowflex Treadmill 10 features a decline function and interactive workouts via Bowflex’s JRNY platform. However, some testers found the screen display hard to read and noted discrepancies in calorie counting accuracy.

Best Treadmills for Home Workouts: Peloton Tread in a contemporary fitness studio

Due to its size, some users experienced issues during workouts, such as hitting their hands on the front handles or the kickplate. Additionally, buttons on the rails sometimes require multiple presses to adjust speed or incline, which can be inconvenient during intense runs.

While Wi-Fi is necessary for JRNY streaming classes, manual mode doesn’t require it. The Bowflex Treadmill 10 offers a comprehensive warranty, including 15 years for the frame and motor.

Another excellent option is the Sole F80 treadmill

Best Treadmills for Home Workouts: LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i treadmill with user-friendly controls

The Sole F80, while relatively simple in design, offers exceptional reliability and comes with the best warranty among our selections. With a sturdy build, comfortable deck, and a 3.5-horsepower motor, it’s built to withstand rigorous workouts. The basic LCD screen displays essential metrics like incline, speed, distance, and calories burned.

The F80 matches top speeds and inclines but lacks a decline feature like our top pick. Conveniently located small buttons on each handrail allow for easy adjustment of speed and incline.

Our testing found the 3.5-horsepower motor smoothly transitioned between speeds and inclines, ensuring an enjoyable running experience. However, we observed that the operational noise, characterized by a wheezy whine from the belt, was somewhat loud.

The F80 includes 10 preset workout programs for fat burn and HIIT but lacks interactive options. It features a tablet holder for convenience.

The Sole F80 has two stable holders for bottles and phones, plus three deep bins below the console. Additionally, the treadmill’s single-speed fan provides a gentle breeze, although some users may find it barely noticeable.

Sole backs the F80 with a strong warranty, including lifetime coverage for the frame and motor.

Alternative: NordicTrack EXP 7i

The NordicTrack EXP 7i features a slightly smaller continuous-horsepower motor compared to our top pick, but in our testing, we didn’t notice any significant difference in performance. With a maximum speed of 12 mph and an incline of up to 12%, this treadmill offers a robust workout experience. However, it lacks a decline feature. During testing, we found the deck to be solid, although slightly narrower than our top pick, which may feel a bit tighter. Some testers noted slight wobbling in the handrails. Additionally, the EXP 7i is foldable for convenient storage.

The NordicTrack EXP 7i features a 7-inch touchscreen, a notable contrast to our top pick’s larger 14-inch display. While the screen is tiltable and displays plenty of statistics, it may feel small, especially if you intend to stream iFit workouts over Wi-Fi.

The built-in fan provides a decent airflow, and the treadmill includes two water bottle holders, although they are somewhat shallow. Additionally, there’s a long bin under the console for miscellaneous items.

With a free 30-day family subscription to iFit included, this treadmill offers access to a variety of workout options. Its warranty matches that of our top pick, providing reassurance and peace of mind.

If you’re seeking the immersive Peloton experience: The Peloton Tread offers an extensive library of on-demand and live classes, showcased on its 23.8-inch immersive color touchscreen, which may justify its higher price tag for some users. Alongside its class offerings, Tread also features a ‘Just Run’ setting, allowing users to run independently, with or without a subscription. Peloton’s all-access subscription membership fee, in addition to the treadmill purchase, is $44 per month.

The Tread boasts a relatively compact and minimalist design while providing ample space for users. Addressing safety concerns following a previous model recall, Peloton introduced the Tread Lock feature, requiring a four-digit digital passcode to unlock the treadmill belt.

Equipped with a 3.0 horsepower motor, the Tread reaches a top speed of 12.5 mph and offers a maximum incline of 12.5%. Unlike our recommendations, it allows users to adjust the incline by both half and whole grades. With a belt measuring 59 inches long and 20 inches wide, the Tread delivers smooth operation, supported by a solid and comfortable deck, albeit slightly firm.

Rather than conventional buttons, Tread offers two adjustment knobs for incline and speed, enabling users to make swift and precise changes. With two round water-bottle holders and a compartment for small items, essentials are kept securely in place. However, the Tread lacks a built-in fan and does not feature a folding design.

Maximize Your Workout with the Best Treadmill: Spirit XT485 treadmill with digital display

Peloton’s warranty for the Tread is less comprehensive compared to others in its class. It includes a 12-month limited warranty covering the touchscreen and “most” components, with five years of coverage for the frame, and three years for the motor and belt.

For an Ultra-Sturdy, Minimalist Treadmill with a Firm Deck

The LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i stands out as a reliable option, impressing us with its sturdy build during testing. While it matches our top picks with a top speed of 12 mph, it offers a slightly higher incline of up to 13% and can even decline to -2%. Convenient waist-high handles in front of the console feature additional buttons for easy speed and incline adjustments. Despite not being explicitly designed for walkers, it offers a unique step-counting feature not found in other models we tested.

Life Fitness T3 treadmill in a compact home gym: Maximize Your Workout with the Best Treadmill

The TR4000i treadmill boasts a smooth deck and a powerful 3.25-continuous-horsepower motor, ensuring a satisfying workout. LifeSpan offers robust warranty coverage: 10 years for the frame, two years for parts, and one year for labor.

If You Prefer Streaming Classes on Your Own Device and Need Swift Adjustments: The Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT treadmill is ideal for streaming classes with your own device and offers quick adjustments. It features two QuickDial controls for swift speed and incline changes, along with a tablet holder on the console for streaming workouts.

With a top speed of 12 mph and a maximum incline of 15%, the 7.0 AT allows for adjustments in incline increments of 0.5, offering versatility for various workouts. Designed to integrate seamlessly with a range of workout apps, it also pairs with Zwift for interactive sessions.

NordicTrack Commercial X22i incline trainer with large touchscreen: Maximize Your Workout with the Best Treadmill

The 7.0 AT treadmill folds for storage but has flat platforms that may not securely hold items. Users report a firmer impact when returning to the ground compared to other foldable models. Warranty covers lifetime for frame and motor, three years for parts, and one year for labor.

Maintaining and Caring for Your Treadmill

When deciding on the placement of your new treadmill, it’s essential to choose a spot with even flooring for optimal performance. Additionally, implementing regular maintenance practices can help prolong the lifespan of your machine and minimize the need for extensive repairs.

ProForm Carbon T7 treadmill in a home workout space: Maximize Your Workout with the Best Treadmill

If your treadmill stops moving under full weight on the belt: If your treadmill stops moving when you apply your full weight on the belt, it likely requires more lubrication. While some treadmills come pre-lubricated and manufacturers advise against adding more lubricant, others may need occasional lubrication as specified in the manual. Most treadmills typically include a bottle of lubricant for this purpose.

If your treadmill belt moves horizontally: It’s probable that you need to tighten it. There’s a bolt on either side of the back of the deck that controls the tightness.

If you notice discrepancies in the screen measurements: Adjust the treadmill calibration using the guidance provided in the manual.

If Your Pet Likes to Be Around Your Treadmill (When It’s Not in Use): Regularly vacuum or wipe down the treadmill belt to remove pet hair buildup. This will help prevent any issues caused by hair accumulation.

Sole F63 treadmill with intuitive controls: Maximize Your Workout with the Best Treadmill
Maximize Your Workout with the Best Treadmill: Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 Folding Treadmill
Maximize Your Workout with the Best Treadmill: Group of diverse people exercising on treadmills in a gym
Alternative Treadmill Choices

Many of the best treadmills for home workouts we’ve evaluated in the past have been phased out or updated with newer models. However, the following treadmills are still on the market and worth considering.

The Spirit XT485 features a strong 4.0-horsepower motor but struggled with speed adjustments. Users faced kickplate issues similar to our runner-up. Its phone/tablet holder placement was inconvenient, blocking the console’s screen. Despite its basic display resembling a digital clock, testers found it easy to use. The belt provided a smooth ride but shook noticeably for one tester.

The Horizon Fitness T202 impressed with its sturdy yet comfortable belt and convenient speed and incline adjustments. Despite its compact size, the belt is standard. However, testers found the side compartments inadequate for securing items. Unfortunately, the treadmill developed a squeak after three weeks, and some testers experienced electrical shocks.

Life Fitness T3, often seen in gyms and hotels, impresses with compactness, user-friendliness, and a robust warranty. However, extended use revealed increased wobbliness and motor delays.

The NordicTrack Commercial X22i incline trainer boasts extreme capabilities, with inclines up to 40% and declines to -6%. Despite drawbacks like noise and instability, its deck offers a responsive feel.

The ProForm Carbon T7’s affordable price and compact size were marred by persistently wobbly handrails, despite attempted fixes.

The Sole F63 fell short due to display confusion, slow response, and noisy deck. Its design and kickplate placement were problematic, unlike the Sole F80.

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 Folding Treadmill, though compact, lacks the size and features for serious running. With its smaller dimensions, limited speed, and manual incline, it’s better suited for light walking.

Maximize Your Workout with the Best Treadmill: Close-up of treadmill belt during a workout session
Best Treadmills for Home Workouts, Choosing the Right Treadmill for You.
Final Thoughts

Finding the ideal treadmill for your fitness journey requires careful consideration of various factors, from performance and features to space and budget constraints. After rigorous testing and evaluation, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 emerges as our top recommendation, offering exceptional performance, versatility, and durability. With its smooth ride, intuitive design, and access to a plethora of onboard workout content, including the optional iFit subscription, this treadmill provides an unmatched fitness experience for users of all levels.

For those who seek alternatives, the Bowflex Treadmill 10 and Sole F80 present compelling options, each with unique features and benefits. While the Bowflex impresses with its versatility and quiet operation, the Sole F80 stands out for its reliability and robust warranty coverage.

Additionally, the NordicTrack EXP 7i offers a solid performance with a slightly smaller footprint, making it suitable for users with limited space. Meanwhile, the Peloton Tread provides an immersive workout experience with its extensive library of classes, although it comes at a higher price point.

Ultimately, the right treadmill for you depends on your specific needs, preferences, and fitness goals. Whether you prioritize interactive workouts, advanced features, or simple functionality, there’s a treadmill out there to help you achieve your fitness aspirations. By carefully assessing your requirements and considering our recommendations, you can find the best treadmills for home workouts to elevate your indoor fitness routine and embark on a journey towards improved health and wellness.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *